At the age of twenty-five, Saint Porphyry of Gaza (d.420), a rich citizen of Thessalonica, left the world for one of the great religious houses in the desert of Sceté. Here he remained five years, and then, finding himself drawn to a more solitary life, passed into Palestine, where he spent a similar period in the severest penance, till ill health obliged him to moderate his austerities. He then made his home in Jerusalem, and in spite of his ailments visited the Holy Places every day; thinking, says his biographer, so little of his sickness that he seemed to be afflicted in another body, and not his own.

About this time God put it into his heart to sell all he had and give to the poor, and then in reward of the sacrifice restored him by a miracle to perfect health. In 393 he was ordained priest and intrusted with the care of the relics of the true cross; three years later, in spite of all the resistance his humility could make, he was consecrated Bishop of Gaza. He was, in effect, kidnapped (with the help of a neighboring bishop, by the way) and forcibly consecrated bishop by the members of the small Christian community there.

That city was a hotbed of paganism, and Porphyry found in it an ample scope for his apostolic zeal. His labors and the miracles which attended them effected the conversion of many; and an imperial edict for the destruction of the pagan temples, obtained through the influence of St. John Chrysostom, greatly strengthened his hands. When St. Porphyry first went to Gaza, he found there one temple more splendid than the rest, in honor of the chief god.

When the edict went forth to destroy all traces of heathen worship, St. Porphyry determined to put Satan to special shame where he had received special honor. A Christian church was built upon the site, and its approach was paved with the marbles of the heathen temple. Thus every worshipper of Jesus Christ trod the relics of idolatry and superstition underfoot each time he went to assist at the holy Mass. He lived to see his diocese for the most part clear of idolatry, and died in 420.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you,St Porphyry, for your example and love of God through suffering. Help us to suffer better here on earth. Thank you also for the great gift of trampling underfoot the relics of idolatry & superstition! It is real. But Jesus is the victor! Pray for us, St Porphyry!

  2. Thank you St Porphyry, for all the things you gave up for the church.With your labours and miracles, assist us every-day to atend masses and visit the Holy places as you did in Jerusalem. St Porphyry, please strengthen and care for us today and always…Amen.

  3. After 25 years of devoted services, my Sunbeam Mixmaster handed out.
    While I replaced it with an alternative the same brand, When I discovered that they just don’t produce items just like they used
    to! And So I bought a KA, like everyone else. It’s been not too long ago now and I also still hate that Kitchen Aid!
    I do not love that you can not put ingredients effortlessly during mixing with out putting
    the training collar and chute on the bowl,
    it’s hard to clean the bowl while the beater is running, it is especially untidy (something constantly seems to
    fly out the bowl, regardless of how cautious I will be), I cannot seem to obtain it set proper so that the ingredients in the bottom of the bowl get integrated into the batter, and it’s just too big and heavy!

  4. Comment: Pray for us oh holy St. Porphyrius of Gaza, so that we may attach ourself more to the service of God than to worldly things.

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